Disgusting or Innovative-Consumer Willingness to Pay for Insect Based Burger Patties in Germany

Insects represent an excellent source of food due to their density in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, while their production is associated with lower emissions of greenhouse gases and resource use as compared to other conventional protein sources. In most Western countries, the human consumption of insects is very low and often perceived as culturally inappropriate. In this study, we analyzed the preferences of German consumers for insect-based products to intensify the knowledge about specific consumer segments that are willing to adopt insects into their diet. For this purpose, an online based choice experiment was conducted in 2016, in which respondents chose between an ordinary burger and a burger with a beef burger patty fortified with insect flour. We detect three homogeneous consumer segments in our sample. The largest group of respondents is willing to consume insect-fortified burgers with only a small price discount, while the other respondents had a prohibitively low willingness-to-pay. The readiness of consumers to adopt insects into their diet is strongly related to attitudinal variables, such as preferences for an environmental friendly production method and health aspects. On the other hand, disgust and the aversion towards insects seem to be the main reasons to abstain from eating insects.


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